Ben Oliver

Banner image for The Cleaners

The Cleaners

One day they will be gone, the bad things.
15 January 2022

A documentary following online content moderators. Big social media platforms tend to outsource this work to other companies in poorer countries like the Philippines.

When someone uploads a horrific video to Facebook, the chances are you’ll never see it. That’s because it’s someone’s job to process image after image and video after video and decide whether or not it stays on the platform. Workers that do this are usually asked to handle 25,000 images per day, usually for relatively little money and with no mental health support on offer.

This documentary successfully sheds light on the lives on those who have to view the worst the world has to offer day-in day-out. It also asks some important questions—who decides what is offensive? Who decides what stays and what goes? How should we handle requests for political censorship in different countries?

It’s all too much for one film to handle, but The Cleaners provides a good insight into the human side of online moderation.